Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Jessica Shirvington "Empower"

**Warning: If you haven't read Endless yet, this may contain spoilers! You have been warned**

Ever since the way the heartbreaking Endless ended, it has left readers wanting a happily ever after for Violet and Lincoln.  Including me.  And when I saw that Jessica Shirvington was releasing Empower, I was super excited to see that there was more to Violet's tale.

However, being that I live in the States that means Empower doesn't come out May 2014. Boo, I know.  Especially since I know that it's Australian release is Nov. 12th.  So imagine my surprise when I saw that I could have Empower. First I needed a minute to process what my eyes were seeing, and then I need ten minutes of freaking out, flipping out, and fangirling over the fact I actually own a copy of Empower.

Synopsis: It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soul mate  Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made

Empower is the epic finale to an already epic series. I don't think Jessica Shirvington could have ended Violet's story any differently.  It was beautifully written, with thoughts and feelings just bleeding from ever word written.  So here are the FIVE things you need to know about this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

1.) The change
After everything Violet Eden has done, has gone through, those things can change a person. And so can time.  Khalil Gibran once said, "Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration."  And this is true for Violet, for Lincoln, for all their love ones.

You'll notice the change in some characters.  Violet is hardened, almost cold to the world because of the coldness within her.  These changes have made Violet more bad ass. Meanwhile, changes made Lincoln unforgiving.  The first and every interaction between these two destined soul mates is explosive and so carnal.  I just wanted to close my eyes and savor each time.

2.) The growth
From change, there is always growth. You always learn things from the things you witness.  Violet grows in a beautiful, strong leader who knows the best for herself and for others.  She is willing to challenge anyone who dares too.  Lincoln, who use to be think things out, can be impulsive which is a blessing and a curse.  He is willing to let nothing stand in his way which only aids in the...interesting interactions they go through.

3.) The clarity
There are so many questions that readers, and even Violet, have and have been wondered for a long time.  About who Violet really is and what she can really be.  What the name of her angel maker is and what her destiny is leading towards.  And...exactly what it means it be truly in love.  These are all answered by Violet.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
~Lao Tzu

4.) The emotions
Can I just say, I don't know of many authors who can bring forth so many feelings like Jessica Shirvington can. Each time Violet was going through a heartbreaking scene, the reader feels the heartbreak too.  Each time Lincoln goes after the true thing in both his and Violet's life, leaves readers panting in want and wondering if it's suddenly got hot in here.

And Phoenix, oh Phoenix.  You can't talk about Violet without talking about Phoenix.  I know many of you were wondering if I was ever going to mention him.  As always, with Phoenix, there is always passion. And readers can feel that passion just coming off of him in waves.  He sometimes is that force Violet needs to get something done.  And he knows exactly, sadly, where he really stands in Violet's life.

5.) The finale
As any epic tale, there is always conflict. Both internally and externally.  And the evil that Violet had to deal with in Endless is just a tad less evil than what darkness she has to face in Empower.  The survival of millions are counting on her.  No pressure right?  Well, not for Violet.  She has turned into this beautiful, strong and caring woman that will do anything for others.

And thus the grand arch of her story, her trails and of her life.  When we first meet Violet, we meet this unsure girl who wants something she feels she can't have.  We meet a girl who becomes angry and spiteful.  We meet a girl who makes mistakes, who finds her way to who she really is. And then, we finally meet a woman, a fighter, a warrior, a leader.  Of these are whom Violet is and she realizes it's what she's been choosing to be all along.

There are just two things that I feel that are left open by Jessica at the end of Empower.  One of which is Magda.  I know that she really isn't needed in Violet's story after her betrayal, but I feel that unknown of what happens to Magda just leaves one too many questions open.  Maybe this might make it possible for Jessica Shirvington to write more Grigori books, just not staring Violet anymore. Which is something many readers will be hoping for, especially if readers feel exactly the same way I do about the second thing left open.


I can't wait for this book to be released so that readers can discuss it.  It is a really great novel.  I had to fight my own mother over who would be able to read it because the series was so damn awesome.  And hopefully, I'll be able to meet Jessica Shirvington when she comes State side again.  (Should forward her there might be some major fangirling by me and my mum.)

Many hugs! And happy reading!
~Nollie ♥

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Aimée Carter "PAWN"

When I first heard about this book, back in July during one of Aimée Carter's North Texas signings, I couldn't wait to read this.  It wasn't the interesting story linewhich it does have onenor the extremely hot guyswho are, trust me, muy caliente.  It was actually the heroine that sold the story for me.  During her Irving signing, Aimée explained to the audience that her heroine, Kitty, had earned a III (more about that in a minute) after having never being diagnosed with dyslexia.  For those who may or may not know, I have dyslexia.  However, I never knew because it wasn't until 20 that I was dyslexic.

When I learned I was dyslexic, I was so angry. Angry at the world, angry at my schools, angry at my teachers, but more importantly angry at myself.  Looking back, I could see the signs that went unseen.  In the 5th grade, I was move into a 4th grade reading class with five others. It was humiliating to be told I couldn't be with my friends all because I couldn't read like they did.  I never really picked up a book "worthy of my age" until I pretty much was half way through Middle School.  I hated being called on to read something out loud because I stuttered and read so slowly.  My entire life I felt like I was stupid, despite knowing the materials and making As and Bs most of my life.

And when I heard about how Kitty had dyslexic and never knew it, I knew before I even read PAWN that I could connect to her.  I was lucky enough that my good friend, Meredith over at Pandora's Books (seriously check her out, she is awesome,) sent me an Advance Reader's Copy after hearing how much I wanted to read this book.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed…and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.
Let me tell you, this book is nothing like what you'll think it will be.  Aimée's writing in this novel is, personally, by far my favorite of all her works.  It really is the stuff of Best Selling authors.  I really can't stop praising this author and this book.  So here are the four things you need to know about this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

1.) The social injustices

This book takes place in the United States, though not the one we grew up knowing.  The world that Kitty knows has a caste system of sorts.  And what "caste" you are put into depends on how well you do on a Test when you turn 17.  The higher the number you have, the better off you are.  The better job you will have, the better clothing and food.  Over all, a life that Kitty always dreamed off but knew she could never have.  But because of her reading disability, Kitty earns a III.  Kitty feels like she deserves that III because she is stupid enough that she can't read.  But in reality, like most dyslexics, they are some of the most brilliant people!  I mean Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Muhammad Ali, pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Fred Epstein, Hans Christian Andersen, Agatha Christie, Walt Disney are just to name a few.  Really would you call any of these people stupid?

In real life day and age, so much pressure is put on children to pass exams.  Here in Texas, you can't even graduate High School without passing an exam called STAR (don't ask me what it stands for, it was the TASS and then the TAKS when I was in school.)

There is also a population law, similar to what we know the Chinese have, of only one child per family.  If you have more than one, you have to pay a fee or leave your child basically an orphan called an Extra.  The high number you have, the more likely you can pay the fee.  And that is what happened to Kitty's family.  Kitty's parents couldn't afford to pay the fee and left her to be an Extra.  You can tell a person is an Extra because their last name is Doe.  A sad, but fitting way, because in hospital settings if a patient is a "John Doe" or "Jane Doe" you don't know anything about their basic background.  And as an Extra, Kitty doesn't know who or even where her family is.  As an Extra, you live in a group home that is over crowded like many of the foster homes we know of now.

And lastly there is this place called Elsewhere. No one knows what or even where it is.  Most parents use Elsewhere has an urban legend to scare their kids.  But is really just a legend?

2.) The characters

You already know a bit about Kitty, but there are other characters that are worth a note or two.  Kitty's boyfriend and fellow Extra, Benjamin "Benji" Doe is one of the sweetest guys I think ever written.  Made me a time or two wonder why more guys like Benji don't exists.  He's brilliant smart like Kitty, though his grades actually show it, and helps Kitty learn her material.  And while some might consider it cheating, he actually writes down the answers that Kitty provides to their homework so that she does have to write them herself.

The family that runs the country are the Harts.  There are a few that you will meet:

  • Daxton is the Prime Minster. He's evil.
  • Augusta is Daxton's mother. If you think Daxton was bad, she is more so than her son.
  • Greyson is the Daxton's son.  He is nothing like his father.
  • Celia is Daxton's sister. And she has no love for her brother and mother.
  • Lelia is Celia's daughter.  And you'll learn more about her with each and every page you turn.

There is one last major character, Knox. If you love mysterious bad boy type, he is so totally your guy. He had me fanning myself a few times with his intensity.  But beneath, like all the Harts, there is more to him.

3.) The twists

Aimée Carter is the queen of hearts in this book. I mean like Aimée was the evil queen Regina from Once Upon a Time, and she reached into my chest, withdrew my heart and give it a good squeeze. I sat in a corner and cried little eyes out at a few scenes. Aimée did a wonder job keeping the readers guessing without her entire novel.  As soon as you figured out where the story might be going, she pulls the rug from out from under you.  People aren't who they say they are.  The evil that is bleed through these pages turns the pages red with all deadly sins.  And I loved every damn minute she did.

4.) The ending

The last thirty or so pages were so hard to put down! And the ending of PAWN leaves readers wanting more of Kitty but cursing that they'll have to wait for book two, Captive. Which I'm sure will be a nail biting waiting and a nail biting book.  I mean just look at that title!  Anyone who knows Chess, knows no good could come from being captive.

I can't for everyone to read this book so we can talk!  You can purchase PAWN at B&N, Amazon or your preferred local book store.

Many hugs! And happy reading!
Nollie ♥

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Interview with Lauren Kate

This past summer I was given the chance to read in advance the newest release from the International Bestselling author Lauren Kate. You can catch my review, here. Afterwards, I had a million and a half questions when I was through reading Teardrop. So I asked Lauren—a dear friend, a sweetheart, and someone with a huge giving heart—if she didn't mind to do an interview with me just in time for the release of Teardrop, which is TODAY! And she was happy to do one. So without a further delay!

Lauren Kate and I on her Teardrop Southlake stop
@2013 NollieMarie
Nollie: I want to start with seven questions that allow your readers to get to know you better.

Lauren: Let’s do it.

Nollie: Five adjectives you would use to describe your personality.

Lauren: Stubborn, passionate, intense, dreamy, evolving.

Nollie: Last three songs you listened to.

Lauren: Young and Beautiful, Lana Del Ray; The Wire, Haim; Broken, Jake Bugg

Nollie: Truth or Dare?

Lauren: Dare

Nollie: Least favorite house chore?

Lauren: Dishes. I’ll cook until the cows come home, but I don’t want to clean up after them.

Nollie: Favorite Disney princess/movie.

Lauren:  Ariel. I have a thing for mermaids.

Nollie: First book you remember reading.

Lauren: Matilda!

Nollie: I remember how much of a sweet tooth you have and love ice cream, so what’s your favorite flavor?

Lauren: Pistachio

Nollie: Before you start writing, your husband who is a musician makes you a playlist.  Is there ever a time that you can’t find music that fits with your mood and/or with what you were writing about? 

Lauren: Music reaches us keenly when we find a song that syncs up with what we’re going through—a heartbreak song in the midst of a heartbreak guts me in just the right way. But I find also music really helpful for accessing a feeling I’m not currently experiencing but that my character needs to feel to get through a scene. When Luce arrived at Sword and Cross for example, and was in a really tough place, I had just gotten engaged and was sorta floating on a pink romantic cloud. But when I turned to some trusted gorgeous melancholy music, I was able to find her voice.

Nollie: There was this scene, at the end of chapter two, between the heroine and her love interest that was really sweet, romantic, and completely organic.  How did this scene come about and how did it help shape the rest of Teardrop?  And knowing the inspiration, how did it feel to see what happened between you and your husband written down on paper?

Lauren: When my husband caught my tear, I knew the moment could be magical transposed onto a page. But I of course already had an intimate relationship with my husband, so I knew his intentions in that moment were to reach me, to console me, to support me, to know me even better than he did. I wondered what the same scene would mean between two virtual strangers, and that’s what led me to writing it into Eureka’s tale.

Nollie: The mythology for Teardrop is very unique and I can’t think of any other novel that has anything similar to what Teardrop has.  With being this distinctive, what types of freedom did you have when writing Teardrop? Any disadvantages?  Also what type of research did you have to do to help develop the Teardrop legends?

Lauren: I was amazed by the breadth of flood narratives I found to plumb from. Every culture has one, and, while there are a lot distinctions from culture to culture, there are also a lot of similarities. I was thinking for a while about how emotions create real worlds—how a person can live in his or her own pain, sorrow, happiness, or surprise—and so I started thinking about writing a character whose emotions literally created a world. That’s where I found Eureka.

Nollie: For a love story, there are a lot of darker undertones that some might not expect.  How do you stay true to the essence of love, while having to tell a story of devastating heartache?  And how might some connect with the emotions that are depicted in the story you are telling?

Lauren: I can’t really account for my books’ darkness, other than I try not to shy away from my characters’ difficulties. In Teardrop, I have another character note that Eureka feels “more powerfully than anyone in the world” but I think this is the way all of us feel actually, when we’re really feeling something.

Nollie: In Fallen, many of your characters were named or had traits after people you knew or liked. For example, Luce after one of your favorite singer Lucinda Williams and Cam was built off your husband.  So for Teardrop, how did you come about naming the characters and learning their traits?  And knowing that Eureka means “I found it” in Greek, does this have any ties to the possibility of finding a lost continent?

Lauren: You’re right about Eureka—and Atlas, who becomes an important oppositional force to Eureka later in the series means (in Greek) “I endure.” Ander is named for Leander, the love interest in the myth (and poem) Hero and Leander, which I find incredibly romantic. And Cat—she’s inspired by a Cat I know and love.

Nollie: Eureka is incredibly imaginative. In chapter one, you write that “her mind fled to wild destinations she didn’t try to avoid.” By being this imaginative, what layer does it add to Eureka’s character and who she is?  And was there at any point that you could relate to what she was visioning or the need to escape reality?

Lauren: Eureka’s depression makes her inaccessible to many of the other characters in her story, but I never wanted her to feel inaccessible to the reader. Developing her imagination allowed me to fully explore her character—and it was nice to feel like I was giving the reader private access to her that most people don’t get. I strongly relate to the experience of feeling like you’re a different person than the rest of the world perceives you to be.

Nollie: In my review for Teardrop, I mentioned that there was something about the South that could be agreed upon that was purely magical.  And I have never know an author to describe a location the way you can.  In Fallen, I felt like I was seeing in a sepia tone filter the world of Sword and Cross.  Whereas in Teardrop, I was seeing Louisiana in Technicolor with dull edges.  In both though, the way you describe the settings, draws in readers into their world, set the mood for the rest of the story and can be perfectly pictured.  What exactly sets Louisiana apart that made it the prime location for what happens in Teardrop?

Lauren: That’s so nice of you to say. Like many authors I admire, I see setting as a character—it needs to have a dynamism in order to earn its place in the book. When I visited Savannah, the place stuck with and to me. I can only say I had a very similar experience when I visited New Iberia, Louisiana. Originally, I thought Eureka was going to be a Southern California girl. I actually wrote a few chapters with her set in LA. She didn’t become herself though until I found her in Louisiana.

Nollie: Unlike Fallen, which some might have suspected would deal with some religious undertones, some might not expect the amount of Catholicism Eureka mentions.  Knowing the region though that Eureka lives in, is this something that she truly believes in, or is it a matter of who, how and/or where she was raised?

Lauren: Faith is an important part of who Eureka is, and her faith is tested in this series, which I relate to and wanted to explore. Yes, part of her faith is decided by who she was born to and where, but the pull to explore that faith is deeply personal for Eureka (and for all of us, I think!)

Nollie: By the time that Teardrop is released, your daughter, little Matilda, for which you dedicate the book too, will be almost nine months old.  Parenthood changes every aspect of how you live, see and feel things.  Exactly how has Matilda changed the way you see, feel and enjoy the world? And how might it spill over into how you write?  And what is the one message or lesson that you hope your daughter will learn from you?

Lauren: Matilda has made me a stronger and a more vulnerable person. Actually, maternal love impacts me in much the same ways that romantic love impacts me. Seeing the world through her eyes is one of the most fascinating experiences of my life—it changes everything and it changes every day. More than anything else, I hope my daughter grows into a passionate (and compassionate) person.

Nollie: For those who might have just picked up Fallen, the book is being made into a movie.  A book and a movie are two different mediums to work with.  Exactly how has the process of turning Fallen into a movie any different, or maybe similar, to when you started working on the book years ago?  Also with all this excitement for the movie from those in the fandom, are there ever any fears that you might disappoint some with what choices have been made?

Lauren: Filming for the movie hasn’t started yet, but so far I can say that the choices made have been really thoughtful and true to the spirit of the books. I’m happy with the script. I adore the director, Scott Hicks, and I’ve loved what I’ve seen so far about the three principal actors. Its impossible to know how the finished product will turn out, but I am optimistic.

Nollie: The amount of support you have received over the years, I’m sure, has been overwhelming.  You have traveled, met and talked to thousands of your fans, and are still making new ones to date.   You have seen hundreds of fan work for Luce and Daniel, heard stories from fans about how they found their own love, and felt the love they have for you.  Is there anything you would like to say to those who have supported you?  And what do you look forward to in the future with fans?

Lauren: I want to say that the way you’ve phrased this question brought tears to my eyes. You described my experience experiencing my readers over the past few years so gorgeously. I feel unendingly grateful for the inspiration I’ve gleaned from my readers. What do I hope for the future? A deepening of my bond with them—and their support in my future writing endeavors.


Many thanks for Lauren for doing this interview. And for those fans who want to catch Lauren while on her Teardrop tour, should check the stops and dates here.  You will love every moment if you meet her!

Much love,
Nollie ♥

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Lauren Kate "Teardrop"

Okay, let me state that I am a loyal die-hard Lauren Kate fan. Am I her #1 fan? No. Why? Well because realistically, I’m sure her husband, her mother, her father, any of her siblings, her dearest friends that close to her, and (in the future I’m sure) her daughter are all slotted for that #1 position.  However, I would like to think that I am a friend of Lauren’s as well as a big contender for the Lauren Kate fan club President, if one should be created.

That being said, I wasn't entirely sure about Teardrop. Not going to lie, I had to end up talking myself into pre-ordering it. But over time though with the release of the cover, blurb and prologue, my opinion changed and I was salivating to get my hands on this book.  I know the chances of getting one’s hands on an Advance Reader’s Copy are pretty slim, and I really didn't want to beg Lauren for one, so I was fully prepared to wait till October 22.  So you could probably imagine my surprise when Lauren Zurchin, the coolest photographer you could ever meet, brought me a gift. And inside, one of the last of Lauren Kate’s personal ARC copies.  I was...speechless, completely so too. And there might have been few tears too.

This is probably by far my favorite of Lauren Kate’s works.  As I was reading it, I was reminded exactly why I feel in love with her in the first place.  In a purely Lauren Kate way, it was like falling in love all over again.  Everything that you enjoy about Lauren and her works—whether it is the emotions invoked, the imagery that is detailed, the mystery that is so captivating or the fantasy that you’d wish you could live in—are all present in this epic novel.  There is sass, irony, betrayal, heartache, tears. There is even some foreshadowing (at least I saw some foreshadowing, but then again that might be me seeing things.)

Rating: 5 out of 5

The following four things I loved about Teardrop:

1. The Characters

Teardrop mainly is about the tale of a seventeen year old Louisiana native, Eureka Boudreaux.  In the prologue, we know that Eureka survives a rogue wave that was sent to murder her and yet only kills her mother.  Her psyche is delicate after this tragedy and she is majorly depressed that she nearly dies from a suicide attempt.  What she doesn't know, and what readers will find out, is that she has a power that could change the entire world.  I was only five or so chapters into Teardrop and already I felt connected more to Eureka than I could with any other character.  It might be because I have been in her shoes when I was fifteen, feeling the ugly darkness of depression and complete unworthiness and uncertainty it can bring.  I also have a few traits of Eureka that she does or has, which a few times, I wondered if I was Eureka herself.

Eureka’s love interest is Ander.  We meet him up front in person in the prologue and know more about him Eureka does, though not the reasons for or why.  He is a stalker, of sorts, if you want to put it like that.  Where ever Eureka is, he is there too.  He knows traits and habits and memories of Eureka.  And he informs her that she is in danger.  Besides this, he is a complete mystery and leaves Eureka, and readers, wanting more scenes that contain him in them.  He wants Eureka’s trust, a trust that isn't easily earned nor easily kept once it has been broken.  We will learn over the course of time more about his background that is slightly mentioned in the prologue, though maybe not everything. After all Lauren would want to keep a few things hidden for future books and just for herself.

You will also meet two of Eureka’s dearest friends.  Noah Brooks, simply known as Brooks, is sweetheart and someone who is there for Eureka to hold onto during her depression. Yet over the course of the four-hundred plus pages, Brooks becomes something darker.  In the last few pages and, especially, in the Epilogue, we’ll get a unique insight into his character and the troubles that plague him.

The other best friend is Cat Estes. And my God, Cat is HILARIOUS.  Lauren was correct in describing Cat as a “horn-dog.” She is flirtatious, always talking about guys.  She is comfortable in her own skin and doesn't mind flaunting it.  She also loves a good juicy romance too.  But don’t let this all distract you from the fact that Cat is brilliantly smart.

There are a few other characters, like Eureka’s family and a Madame Blavatsky, that play a role in Eureka’s life.  And what story isn't complete without those darn pesky antagonists? Who are they, I can’t say because that would spoil your desire to read this grand story.

Note: If you are a huge Fallen fan (like me) who would love to see one of your favorite character crossover into the world of Teardrop, they sadly aren't seen.  However, there are traits of your belong characters that you can see in the world that is Teardrop. For example, if you love the eccentric Arriane then you’ll love Cat.  If you love the mystery of our beloved Daniel that captivated Luce and us, then you’ll see the similar mystery cloak Ander.

2. Location, Location, Location

There is something about the South that you can agree on is just magical.  And it’s the prime location for Teardrop.  The way that Lauren describes Louisiana is glorious.  Limbs of oak trees that “embrace” Eureka, sugarcane mazes and the sound they make when they are ready for harvesting, and the way the air smelled of salt.  I could almost see myself standing in the bayou that Eureka loves.  The murky swamplands are picturesque and are just ideal for what goes down in this novel.  Needless to say, that doesn't mean that the rest of Eureka’s story will take place in Louisiana. Just like in the Fallen saga, which originally takes place in Georgia before we went to California and then the rest of the world, past and present.

3. The Mystery and The Inheritance

Besides the mystery that is Ander, Eureka has another mystery after she inherits four items from her mother after her death: a book, a locket, an odd stone, and a handwritten letter.  The letter is a typical letter that one might assume one would get after the passing of a love one.  Not to be sad and in pain, to live life full of love and purpose, and that she was always there, just not in the physical form to guide her.  The letter’s tone and message leave Eureka confused, and even more so the other three items.  The stone is very powerful and will come to save a few lives. How? You’ll have to wait and read to find out.  The locket refuses to open without a special touch, which makes Eureka wonder why was it closed shut for? But more importantly the book.  The book is writing in a language so dead that only a small handful of people could read it.  It’s a book worth being killed for and tells the tale of a woman whose broken heart and tears bring an entire kingdom to its death.

The question now is are how are these items tied to Ander?

4. More Adventures to Come!

As I stated before, Teardrop is probably the best I have read from Lauren Kate.  By the time I finished the last word of the last sentence in the book, I was already cursing that book two isn't finished.  And I have a million plus questions that I’m itching to ask Lauren about, already started and deleted a couple dozen emails to her.  (God help me if I do get a chance to as them.  She knows the type of questions I've asked in years past, how I catch details and clues.)  I’ll have to just wait and see if they will be answered in books to come or be left wondering.

If you want more details about Teardrop and be able to read the Prologue, click here.
To order from Barnes & Nobles or Amazon.

Many hugs! And happy reading!
~Nollie ♥

Monday, July 1, 2013

Authors for Aid WINNERS ♥

The response to this cause was really outstanding! We raised $230 dollars for the Red Cross!  There was also two blood donations that were made as well; one of the donors was a first time donor.  So thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!  And now to announce the winners...

FYI- I had nasal/sinus surgery two weeks ago in case you were wondering why I sound funny.

YA Authors
  • Florence Kizza won the Aimee Agresti signed book.
  • Florence Kizza, Erika Payne, & Barb Mirror each won one of the Wendy Higgins signed Sweet Evil saga bookmarks.
  • Florence Kizza won the signed Page Morgan The Beautiful and the Cursed
  • Florence Kizza won the audio copy of Jessica Shirvington Entice.
  • Erika Payne won the Lauren Kate Fallen hardcover box set!
Adult Authors
  • Randee Miller won the signed E.L. James Fifty Shades trilogy box set.
  • Carolina McGoey won the Ruth Clampett Animate Me prize package.
  • Kisha Gore won the Shay Savage signed copy of Surviving Raine.
  • Cheryl Nasca won the S. L. Scott A Prior Engagement ebook.

Nollie Marie

PS- Also forgot to thank Jada D. Lee designs for the wonderful banner. You know I love you Jada!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Authors for Aid: Tornado Relief Update

Just a small post updating everyone about Authors for Aid.  I've had a great response to this Red Cross fundraiser.  Thank you to every re-tweet, re-post and donations that I have received so far.  I was interviewed this past Friday on a Seattle radio show.  You can listen to it below.

Listen to internet radio with NorthwestPrime"> on BlogTalkRadio

Following the interview later that day, Oklahoma was hit with another round of horrible storms and tornadoes.  My heart broke again at hearing that a mother and baby were among those who were killed.

So, in order to promote more help to the Red Cross, I've decided to extended the last day I'll be accepting donation receipts.  Each donation, being cash amount or of blood, is priceless to the people effected.  So now instead of June 9th, the last day will be June 30th at 1 pm EST.  I'll be announcing the winners the following day July 1st,  which happens to be my birthday.

*Thoughts and prayers for everyone effected*

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tornado Relief

As an American, we have seen many national disasters. Earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, mudslides, tornadoes. And sadly we've also seen many horrible evils that have taken many lives as well.  These all effect our lives worldwide.

With recent outbreak of tornadoes in the Southern plains and Midwest, I didn't want to feel helpless. Being a Texan, I've seen first hand the devastation that can be caused by a tornado. As a child, we practiced tornado drills. At home, there have been scary nights were I have taken shelter in my bathroom, listening to a faint sound of wail of a siren going off near by. Nothing is more hopeless than knowing that strength of Mother Nature and her destruction.

So I sent out emails to some of my favorite authors about an idea of raffling off items to those who help with the Oklahoma tornado relief.

Before I state who the authors are, let me explain how you can win one of these items.

There are many ways that you can help, but I'm sticking to the American Red Cross.  There are two ways to give aid to the Red Cross:
  1. You can donate any amount to their website:
  2. You can donate $10 by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999
You can also donate blood!  Really any donation, big or small, will help those in need.  And without saying, since the Red Cross is a 501(3) charity, you can claim the donation on your 2013 taxes next year.

Now to enter to win one of the raffle prizes, all you have to do is either sent me a receipt or a photo (with all personal information blackened out) of your donation to

Now what are some of the prizes you ask?  Well the following awesome authors have personally donated some wonderful items to be raffled:

YA Authors
  • Aimee Agresti, author of the Illuminate saga, has donated a signed copy of one of her books.
  • Wendy Higgins, author of the Sweet Evil saga, has signed 5 Sweet Evil saga bookmarks.
  • Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed, has donated a signed copy of her book.
  • Jessica Shirvington, author of Violet Eden series and Between the Lives, has donated an audio copy of Entice.
  • Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen saga and Teardrop novel (Oct. 22), has given a Fallen hardcover box set!
Adult Authors
  • E.L. James, author of the Fifty Shades trilogy, has donated a signed box set of Fifty Shades.
  • Ruth Clampett, author of Animate Me, has donated a signed copy of Animate Me in addition to an Juan Ortiz cup drawing or storyboard not shown in the book.
  • Shay Savage, author of Surviving Raine and Otherwise Alone, has donated a signed copy of Surviving Raine.
  • S. L. Scott, author of Naturally, Charlie, A Prior Engagement and others, has donated A Prior Engagement ebook.
To win any of these items, write which author(s) you would like to win when you email me your receipt/photo and you'll be entered into that author's raffle.  You can enter to win many author prizes under your single donation.  If you donate blood though, I'll add a second entry for you.  This raffle is anonymous.  All names will be put into a spreadsheet and I'll draw names to pick the winners.

Fairly simple.  Donate, email me receipt/photo and you'll be entered to win.  You have until 1 pm EST on June 30th to enter.  I'll announce the winners July 1st.  Sorry everyone International, these raffles are only open to those in the USA.  (Update 06/25/13: E.L. James has approved to open her raffle to International fans!  Those outside of the US who want to enter her raffle, same rules apply above.)

Any questions, you can email me as well. And thank you to everyone who donates.

♥ My thoughts and prayers go out to all effect by recent tornadoes! ♥